The issue is addressed in a new report from The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights group, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. The groups have created a Healthcare Equality Index for hospitals that focuses on five key areas: patient rights, visitation, decision-making, cultural competency training and employment policies and benefits.While civil rights groups have made huge strides in the past few years--months, even--I am still utterly conflicted about what the article suggests for same-sex couples that want to not risk forfeiting certain hospital rights:
For couples who don’t have documentation or are worried that their relationship might not be recognized during a medical emergency, the solution often is to pretend to be a sibling in order to ensure access to a partner.
“If you’re on the road and have a crisis, the word on the street is just say, ‘This is my sister,’ or ‘This is my brother,’ ” Ms. Kahn said. “Most people won’t raise an eyebrow about it unless you look very different. It’s sad that we have to think about that. Am I going to be better off saying this is my sister or this is my life partner?”
I really hope that one day, and soon, that I will have all the same legal rights that my heterosexual friends, family, and coworkers already enjoy.